A Personal History of South India
Coromandel is what Europeans once called south-east India. In this fusion of history and travelogue, the bestselling author of Ashoka explores the region south of the river Narmada, meeting historians, gurus and local people, to unlock the mysteries of its extraordinary past.
From 18th-century flock wallpapers to modern designs such as Bike Chain by Brixton Print Shed or Newton Paisley’s floral pattern featuring endangered species, Zoë Hendon’s concise and richly illustrated history reveals wallpaper’s often overlooked role in interior design and making houses feel like home.
The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
The disappearance of Sir John Franklin and his crew of 129 in the Arctic in 1848 prompted many searches, but it was not until the 21st century that his two ships were located. Paul Watson, who was aboard the icebreaker that found the Erebus, describes the hunt for the doomed expedition, and the combination of modern science and Inuit tradition that finally revealed its fate. Slightly off-mint.
Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory
Michael Korda paints a picture of day-to-day life in London at the time of the Battle of France, drawing on his own childhood experiences. He weaves this with the detailed story of the Dunkirk evacuation, which mitigated the blow of military defeat. Using maps of the developing military action, he dissects successes and failures of French, German and British leadership, including the Vice-Admiral whose contingency plans played a crucial role. American-cut pages
Uprisings that Shaped the Twentieth Century
Throughout the 20th century regular outbursts of revolutionary fervour brought long-standing regimes to an end and reshaped societies around the world. More than 20 such moments are featured here, from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty, to the uprisings that swept eastern Europe during and after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Housed in a sturdy slipcase, the book contains 15 removable facsimile documents, including the proclamation of Tsar Nicholas’s abdication and a revolutionary poster from Cuba.
A History of Political Trials
From Charles I to Charles Taylor
While the creation of international tribunals to try heads of state for crimes against humanity are usually hailed as new, breakthrough victories for human rights, this study argues that such trials have a long history. In cases from Charles I in 1649 to Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, in 2012, Laughland examines the constitutional issues raised by political trials and ‘special tribunals’, discussing the nature of the Prosecution and the often ignored Defence as well as procedural shortcomings.
Short History of the Anglo-Saxons
A Pocket Essential
Giles Morgan presents a succinct history of the Anglo-Saxons, from the fifth-century Saxon invasion to the Norman Conquest, and ends with chapters on their enduring influence in works such as George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones, and the recent discoveries of Anglo-Saxon hoards.
13Queen Victoria and the Romanovs
Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust
‘Oh, if the queen were a man, she would like to go and give those horrid Russians ... such a beating!’ wrote Victoria; while in Russia, Alexander III described the queen as a ‘pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In this study of the hostility between the British and Russian royal courts, Coryne Hall begins with the disastrous marriage of Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saarfeld, Victoria’s ‘Aunt Julie’, to Grand Duke Constantine in 1795, then traces 60 years of the queen’s fear and distrust of the Romanov dynasty.
Short History of the Cathars
A Pocket Essential
When a Crusade was launched against them early in the 13th century, the Cathars were dominant in the Languedoc region and had won widespread support from nobility and peasants. Martin explains the movement’s development, the fractious political context in which it flourished and the principles of simplicity, equality and non-violence which lay at the heart of the Cathars’ heretical teachings and their implacable opposition to the Catholic Church. Second edition.
1916: A Global History
The pivotal year of the First World War was marked by a series of events with far-reaching repercussions, from the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising to the assassination of Rasputin and the election of President Woodrow Wilson. Drawing on military, social and cultural sources, this history goes beyond the Western Front to explore crucial developments in the war at sea, in the intelligence war, and in the Balkans, East Africa and Asia.
Shiels to Shields
The Life Story of a North Tyneside Town
Although North Shields was more advantageously positioned on the Tyne than its upstream neighbour, the 13th-century royal charter granting Newcastle a monopoly over trade held back the settlement's expansion for centuries. This illustrated history identifies the events that shaped the town, describing the local industries of coal mining, shipbuilding and fishing and giving an insight into the working and living conditions of its inhabitants during the period of rapid expansion in the 19th century.
How Leaders and Their Unnecessary Wars Have Wrecked the Modern World
Ranging from Louis XIV’s wars in the 17th century to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, this study examines why some rulers resort to excessive force, whether through ambition, bloodlust or bad advice, and its consequences for global stability .
Commander in Chief
FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943
Hamilton’s reappraisal of Roosevelt’s wartime leadership continues with this second volume in his trilogy, assessing the clashes between FDR and Churchill throughout 1943. As battle escalated in North Africa and Italy, a strategic difference between the two men emerged, with the president challenging Churchill’s decision to widen the war in the Mediterranean and overruling his attempts to abandon the D-Day landings.
The Flower of All Cities
The History of London from Earliest Times to the Great Fire
In 1501, when William Dunbar described it as ‘the flower of Cities all’, London was already a significant capital city, a great port and a hub of culture and commerce. In 1666, the Great Fire destroyed almost all of the old walled city and environs. Drawing on archaeological, written and pictorial records, Wynn Jones traces London’s history from Ancient Britons, through Roman, Saxon, medieval, Tudor and Stuart times, to the aftermath of the Fire. The book concludes with four walks for rediscovering the pre-1666 city.
On the Seven Deadly Sins
Drawing on his experience in politics, former MP Kenneth Baker examines how the Seven Deadly Sins have been depicted in art and literature through the ages. Using excerpts from plays, poetry and fiction, he discusses the sins, reflects on their continuing presence in today’s more secular society, and concludes that life would be banal and unchallenging without them. The extensive illustrations include works by old masters such as Botticelli and Bosch, press photographs, and cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson, Bateman, Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.
H-Bombs & Hula Girls
Operation Grapple 1957 and the Last Royal Navy Gunroom at Sea
As part of Operation Grapple, Britain’s H-bomb testing programme, the light fleet carrier HMS Warrior set off from Portsmouth in February 1957 for Christmas Island in the South Pacific. In the Gunroom were ten junior officers (including the author) who weeks later would witness the detonation of Britain’s first thermonuclear device. This month-by-month account of their voyage, which examines the logistics behind the testing, describes their naval duties and celebrates their unfaltering comradeship.
Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry (1847)
Born into a Quaker banking family, Elizabeth Fry (1780–1845) worked tirelessly for the reform of prisons and asylums. This memoir, first published in 1847, is largely composed of extracts from her journals and letters, edited and with a linking narrative by two of her daughters. The original two volumes are bound as one in this reprint edition. No jacket and off-mint.
A History of Crime in England (1873–76)
Luke Owen Pike (1835–1915) was a barrister and an historical researcher in the Public Records Office, and his history of crime from Roman times to 1874 draws on his legal expertise and his access to historical documents. In great detail, he shows how ‘the definition of crime was being gradually evolved during the slow march of history’. Reprint edition. No jackets.
Knight, Martyr, Patron Saint and Dragonslayer
St George is England’s patron saint, yet many other nations, from Hungary to Ethiopia, consider him their own. This compact guide reviews what is known about this early martyr, and traces his battle with the dragon to legendary pre-Christian heroes.
The Fall of the Tay Bridge
In a disaster commemorated by one of William McGonagall’s famously bad poems, engineer Thomas Bouch's Tay Bridge collapsed when a train was passing over it during a storm in 1879, killing everyone on board. This revision of David Swinfen's 1994 study of the event analyses the evidence and technical studies to answer the still-contested questions of why the bridge failed and how many people lost their lives.
The Crusade of Richard I
The Third Crusade united European leaders in an expedition to reclaim the Holy Land from Saladin. It is particularly well-documented, with contemporary chronicles surviving from both sides of the conflict, some of which were written by men present in the region. First published in 1889, this compilation of translated sources juxtaposes accounts by different authors and illustrates how events such as the siege of Acre were viewed at the time.
A Short History of the 20th Century
Combining narrative verve with meticulous scholarship, this brilliant chronicle charts the vicissitudes of a tempestuous century. Starting at the dawn of an era ripe with promise, it shows how empires fell, leaving wars, revolutions, economic depressions and totalitarian regimes in their wake. It also examines the details of everyday life – how children were raised, why cities expanded, and the effects of technology and mass media – before concluding with the fall of the Soviet Union and the resurgence of Islam.
Sisters of Fortune
Marianne, Bess, Louisa and Emily Caton: 1788–1874
Arriving in Britain from Maryland after the Battle of Waterloo, the four Caton sisters took London society by storm. Based on unpublished letters, this glorious book charts their fortunes against a glittering backdrop of money, politics and power. It tells how each overcame prejudice to forge her own destiny: Emily managed their estates back home, Bess triumphed on the London stock market, Marianne married Wellington's brother, and Louisa became Duchess of Leeds and a friend of Queen Victoria.
General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century
In the Nineteenth Century
Published in 1851, eleven years after he famously wrote that 'property is theft' (in What is Property?), this work sets out Proudhon's radical vision of a society in which authority is decentralized among communes or cooperatives, with free contracts replacing laws. Reprint of the 1923 edition, translated by John Beverley Robinson.
The English Civil War
An Alternative History of Britain
With hindsight, the Parliamentarian victory over the Royalists in the English Civil War may seem inevitable, but it was never a foregone conclusion. Venning examines the turning points at which things might have gone differently – the countdown to war between December 1641 and the spring of 1642; Edgehill; the creation of the New Model Army in 1644; and the 1645 campaign.